Writing with The Camera: Unconventional approaches to Essay Filmmaking

The BAFTSS Essay Film SIG and the Derek Jarman Lab

 CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

 Writing with The Camera: Unconventional approaches to Essay Filmmaking

 A roundtable discussion and workshop for essay film practitioners and enthusiasts. The gathering aims to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas about the screenwriting process and screenplay development for the essay-film, as part of the London Essay Film Festival.

Date of the workshop: 24th March 2018 (10 am – 1 pm).

Deadline: 15th March 2018

Location: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck School of Arts, Birkbeck London WC1H 0PD

During the session, we will introduce approaches to screenwriting outside conventional formats and discuss how the participants’ essay-film projects might draw from the application of similar development techniques. The focus will be on processes of layering, working and re-working material, remaining flexible to facilitate moving backwards and forwards between scripting, editing and devising sound/VO. Filmmakers Romana Turina and Rebecca E. Marshall will look at this process within their completed works and how open systems of development loops can make use of both carefully planned sequences and unexpected moments.

Participants of the workshop will be asked to bring examples of storyboard/script/ notebooks/image collection from their projects. In the second part of the session, we will share and discuss these documents.

Schedule:

Date: 24th March 2018

Time: 10am – 1pm

  • 10 am: welcome, opening presentation and introduction
  • 10:30 am – 12 am: Roundtable Discussion – individuals present their ongoing projects one by one.
  • 12 am – 1 pm: Participant’s Materials displaying on the tables – knowledge exchange and discussion on process.

 

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST:

If you are interested in participating, please send a 150-word description of the project and a 100-word bio to:

rt748@york.ac.uk  or bartek@jarmanlab.org

before 15th March 2018.

Session One: Laura Rascaroli Lecture With Screening Of La Bocca Del Lupo


Essay film specialist Laura Rascaroli will give a talk on lyricism and poetry in the essay film, and introduce Pietro Marcello’s La bocca del lupo [The Mouth of the Wolf] (2009).

Wednesday 21 March 2018, 18:00 

Birkbeck Cinema: FREE event [book here]

Opening Lecture: ‘Compounding the Lyric Essay Film: Towards a Theory of Poetic Counter-Narrative’, by Professor Laura Rascaroli, University College Cork; followed by a screening of Pietro Marcello’s film La bocca del lupo [The Mouth of the Wolf] (2009)

La bocca del lupo [The Mouth of the Wolf], Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2009, DVD, 68 minutes, Italian with English subtitles


Continue reading “Session One: Laura Rascaroli Lecture With Screening Of La Bocca Del Lupo”

MESHES OF TIME

Image credit: Rebecca E Marshall


WORKSHOP/PERFORMANCE

1st April 2017, 10am1pm

Room G10, School of Arts
Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

Organised by The Derek Jarman Lab in collaboration with Rebecca E Marshall.


A roundtable discussion, workshop and performance hosted by the Derek Jarman Lab for essay film practitioners and enthusiasts to exchange ideas about working with/against cinematic time.

During the session we will introduce approaches to editing outside conventional formats and discuss how to tailor them to the participants’ own essay-film projects. The focus will be on how the filmmaker’s voice can emerge through both sound and image, and can generate a sense of cinematic time. We will look at the process of montage and how it can make use of both carefully planned sequences and accidental moments.

Participants in the workshop should bring up to 3 clips from their own footage (not more than 5 minutes in total duration) . In the second part of the session we will discuss and paper-edit those excerpts with a view to constructing a narrative about time. The workshop will finish off with a collaborative VJ performance during which we will live-edit the footage with an accompanying commentary and a pre-recorded music track.

If you are interested in participating, please send us an email before 25th March. We will be collecting clips prior to the session on Friday, 31st March in our office at 36 Gordon Square. Quicktime Prores format is preferred; if necessary we can help extract clips from file, DVDs, or Blu-rays.


Schedule

10am – welcome and opening presentation

10.30am – roundtable discussion

11.30am – looking at clips and paper-edit

12.30pm – VJ-ing performance


Email bartek@jarmanlab.org to reserve your place.


jarmanlab.org

Session #16: Screenings and discussion with filmmaker Jocelyne Saab followed by wine reception

Photo © 2015 Jocelyne Saab


Saturday 1 April 2017

Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

1:00–6:00 | [Book here]

Filmmaker Jocelyne Saab will be in conversation with Tim Markham (Birkbeck) and Stefanie Van de Peer (Exeter). Following the event we invite all our guests to join us for wine reception and Negotiating Dissidence: The Pioneering Women of Arab Documentary by Stefanie Van de Peer book launch: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-negotiating-dissidence.html.


An extraordinary opportunity to see Jocelyne Saab’s Beirut trilogy of essay films made during the civil war in Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s. Having started her professional life as essentially a television journalist, Saab turned to a more personal and essayistic mode of filmmaking as her native city and country were torn apart by civil war. These beautiful and moving films infuse their powerful documentary footage of daily life amid destruction and displacement with a poetic intensity that transcends the conflict and reaches beyond despair. After the civil war, Saab went on to make numerous films, including documentary and fiction, both in Lebanon and around the Middle East and the Arab world, and more recently she has worked in gallery settings as well as creating her own cultural festival in Beirut.

Beyrouth, jamais plus, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1976, 16mm (transferred to digital), 36 mins, English-language version
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Lettre de Beyrouth, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1978, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version
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Beyrouth, ma ville, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1982, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version

JOCELYNE SAAB SIGHT AND SOUND ARTICLE


Beyrouth, jamais plus, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1976, 16mm (transferred to digital), 36 mins, English-language version

The film is an elegy for the city of Beirut and was shot during a period when the war hostilities had ceased momentarily and people were attempting to reconstruct their lives amongst the rubble and destruction of war. Shot over six months, the first half of the film shows us images of a destroyed city, of empty streets, bombarded buildings, random objects, of children playing, accompanied by a voice over written by poet and artist Etel Adnan, telling us how they ”the unusual has destroyed the order of things”. People relate their experiences of desolation and the suffering from the battles. This city portrait is Saab’s first attempt to articulate in personal terms her experience of the war and to rework in essayistic form her previous filmic and journalistic coverage of the history of her country and its conflicts. The essay film is infused with the uncertainty and violence caused by the destruction of a place she had known and that she felt was lost forever.

Lettre de Beyrouth, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1978, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version

This highly personal and original film is an attempt by the filmmaker to come to terms with her experience of war and current events in Lebanon. Saab is like a character in her own story, returning to a country and a city that she no longer recognises. The film works through subtle transitions between fiction and documentary, and a series of letters with a text written by Etel Adnan, whose novel Sitt Marie Rose, published one year earlier in 1977, Saab considered to be the best novel about the Lebanese conflict. While traveling around Beirut and to South Lebanon, the filmmaker muses about the country, its politics, censorship, listening to people who speak openly about their lives and what they hope for the future. The film was described as a panorama of Lebanese society and its problems, revisiting the history of Lebanon and the wages of occupation, while showing people’s everyday life during a time of conflict.

Beyrouth, ma ville, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1982, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version

Shot seven years into the war in July 1982 while Beirut was under siege by the Israeli army, the film is another heartfelt tribute to an almost deserted city reduced to rubble after years of conflict. Saab, acting like a reporter of her own history, tells us about the destruction of her house, a 150-year-old building. The film is haunted by the history and memory of places and names and by the stark reality and unbearable violence of the war. The voice over of the film was written by Roger Assaf, a playwright, director and actor, whose work has been profoundly marked by the collective experience of war.

Special thanks to Jocelyne Saab, Miriam Heard, and Nicole Brenez.

We would also like to thank Edinburgh University Press (https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/)